Blades of glory as Finlandia Trophy heats up the ice

Some of the world's best ice skate athletes are in Espoo competing in the annual tournament.

File picture of ice skaters / Credit: @skatingfinland Instagram

Some of the world’s best ice skaters are in Espoo this weekend, competing in the annual Finlandia Trophy at Metro Arena.

The action started on Friday, with the men, women and pairs short skate programme.

So far in the men’s competition, Russian World Championship bronze medalist Mikhail Kolyada is in in first place after his short programme. South Korean champion Junhwan Cha is in second place after his skate. The current European silver medalist Dmitri Aliev is in third place.

Finland’s five time national champion – and also a medical doctor – Valtter Virtanen; and St. Petersburg born skater Roman Galay are in 16th and 21st places respectively, after one day of competition.

In the women’s competition, former World and European Champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva from Russia is in first place after her short programme. Kazakh phenom, 18-year-old Elizabet Tursynbaeva is in second place. And Russian skater Stanislava Konstantinova is in third place.

Finland’s top skater going into the second day of competition is Emmi Peltonen who put in a great performance in her short programme to land in fourth place. Emmi’s mum Hanna is a former figure skater, and her dad Ville played ice hockey for HIFK in the SM-Liiga and for San Jose Sharks in the NHL.

The other female skater from Finland Viveca Lindfors is currently in sixth place.

Elite skating series

The Finlandia Trophy has been part of the International Skating Union‘s ‘Challenger Series’ since 2014. It’s a level of competition ranked just below ‘Grand Prix’ skating events and this year there are 11 of these competitions in locations like Germany, Thailand, Estonia and Canada as well as Finland.

Duos or solo skaters can compete in up to three Challenger Series events, and their top two scores determine their rankings at the end of the season.

Skaters Daria Pavliuchenko and Denis Khodykin compete in the pairs event at Finlandia Trophy event, Friday 5th October 2018 / Credit: @skatingfinland Instagram